Real IRA appeal delay
Alleged Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt's bid for early release has been delayed after his legal team went on holiday.
His demand for a one-third enhanced remission of a 20-year sentence, instead of the usual quarter remission, was to have been heard yesterday but was put back until Monday on the application of his own barrister Mark Lynam.
Diarmaid McGuinness SC, for the Minister for Justice, told the court that Mr McKevitt's application had been made last Friday as a matter of urgency by Michael O'Higgins SC.
It had transpired that after yesterday was nominated for the hearing, Mr O'Higgins and his instructing solicitor had gone off on holiday. Mr O'Higgins would not be available until Monday and Mr McKevitt's solicitor was not available this week to take further instructions from his client.
McKevitt was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in 2003 after being convicted in the Special Criminal Court of directing terrorism and of being a member of the Real IRA. His sentence had been backdated to March 29, 2001.